Nursing assistants experience a higher rate of injuries compared with other manual laborers, of which 82% are related to back pain. Limited training and inexperience can expose nursing assistants to an increased risk of injury. This retrospective analysis is designed to evaluate the short term effectiveness of a patient handling education program on nursing assistant confidence and basic knowledge.
Nursing assistants participated in an 8-hour educational program designed to teach safe patient handling and injury prevention techniques at a community hospital. Participants included 254 nursing assistants (91% female). Qualitative data on demographics and patient-handling confidence were gathered from a survey administered before and after the program. Didactic knowledge was measured using a multiple-choice content test.
Overall confidence in patient-handling skills before the education session was 39± 6% and improved to 46 ± 4%. Content test results were based out of 10 possible points with a mean total pre-test 4.0 ± 2.2 and mean total post-test 7.0 ± 2.2.
Content test scores and confidence survey scores increased significantly for both men and women. Programs administered jointly by physical therapy and nursing may positively affect the frequency, compliance and proficiency in providing daily activity and mobility to the hospitalized patient.